Author Archives: Kate Murray

About Kate Murray

Kate Murray is a freelance writer and editor, specialising in social affairs and housing. She is the ex-editor of Inside Housing magazine and edits the HQN (Housing Quality Network) governance magazine, The Governor.

Streetwise: building the confidence of vulnerable people

TweetFor Streetwise course participant Peter Lomas, the harassment came in the form of kids throwing stones. Another participant on Peter’s course had been so shaken by the shouting and swearing she faced when getting a bus that she was too … Continue reading

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Storytelling in senility: revealing dynamic personalities beneath the dementia

TweetOne of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t take down more of my mother’s stories before her slide into dementia accelerated. I would have liked to know more about her brief engagement to a Vietnamese diplomat, or the time … Continue reading

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“Enough is enough”: London teens campaign against knife crime

Tweet“We see 12-year-olds holding knives. They are doing it in daylight.” That’s the shocking reality of gang membership on south London’s Rockingham estate, as witnessed by 18-year-old Tanvir Hussain. On my way to meet Tanvir and his friends, I pick … Continue reading

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“I remember when she could make herself a cup of tea”

TweetWhen I asked my kids to tell me how they felt about visiting their grandma, who has dementia, in her care home, they were honest. “It can be a bit spooky because there are a lot of people there who … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Mental health, Older people, Third sector, Uncategorized, Young people | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

High society (and celbritocracy) backs big society

TweetIt was a sight that would have warmed the cockles of David Cameron’s heart. As soul singer Heather Small and ex-England footballer Sol Campbell mingled with guests at London’s Saatchi Gallery last week, they were showing just the kind of … Continue reading

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Care: money talks but standards should matter more

TweetIt was when the care home manager started to talk about staff training that the alarm bells sounded for me. Not because I didn’t want the people who would be caring for my mother to be well trained – far … Continue reading

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Life stories: freeing the minds of dementia sufferers

TweetIt was only a picture of a gurgling baby. But to one elderly woman with dementia, it meant the world. “She had dementia, was in a care home and was past the stage where she could really have a conversation,” … Continue reading

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All in a good cause? Charity cold callers target the vulnerable

TweetMy mum has multiple dementia. Sadly, there’s nothing unusual about that. The Alzheimer’s Society reports that there are now 750,000 people with some form of dementia in the UK. For my mum, it’s a gradual decline into the night. She … Continue reading

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Housing’s X factor is tenancy support

TweetJane Forster is a realist. ‘Homeless people with chaotic lifestyles aren’t the most attractive tenants to private landlords,’ she says. It’s a realism that sometimes seems to be lacking among the policy-makers planning a bigger role for the private rented … Continue reading

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New York, LA, Gravesend; Kent gets its own US-style big society phone app

TweetGravesend doesn’t have too many claims to fame, aside perhaps from being the place where Pocohontas is buried and the former home of Bond girl Gemma Arterton. It never makes the national headlines – unless it’s for recording record high … Continue reading

Posted in Big society, Local government, media & communication, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments